E3 has come and gone leaving gamers hungry for more. Despite the dismal showing of the ongoing console war (though Microsoft’s Xbox Backwards Compatibility extension is praise-worthy), Arc Systems provided one of the best surprises of the show. Arc Systems, the makers of Guilty Gear, put their Unreal 4 3D with 2D shades to the test for the next Dragon Ball Z fighting game.
Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite was meant to be the talk of the fighting game town with appearances by Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Thanos, and Gamora. However, in spite of its’ impending September launch date, Capcom failed to captivate a hungry audience with its’ follow-up, which is 3 months after UMVC3 returned to console and 2 months away from launch. Surely, both will find each others’ space at Evo next year, but there’s a clear winner here and now.
Dragon Ball FighterZ stole that eSports spotlight with something true to its original franchise. Usually, DBZ games fall into the casual crowds. This looks as good as Dragon Ball Z could ever get in our generation. Cell shading makes the characters and environments pop thanks to advanced lighting techniques. It feels as if some of the best mechanics, from Bodokai, Final Bout, Hyper Dimension, and craploads of other DBZ games, are thrown into this. And it seems that even the fighting game community is in awe of Dragon Ball FighterZ. Bandai Namco chose well this round. Despite Xenoverse 3 being considered as the next step, DB FighterZ seems to be a hit and a miss to the loyal fans hoping for a new sequel. Dragon Ball Xeonverse 2 just came out last October.
Personally, I didn’t want yet another Dragon Ball Zed(because we’re Canadian, eh?) game. This was before I saw DB FighterZ and that epic clip in the middle of the FighterZ’s gameplay. 3 on 3 tag fighting with a couple of neat mechanics such as planet-ruining special attacks (deflections literally destroy stages and characters can get hit with their own attacks), destructible and show-inspired environments, and of course, the speed. True to its’ form, and possibly to one of its’ signature phrases from the likes of its’ characters, Dragon Ball Fighters Z is holding back a bit. And no, internet memes don’t necessarily have to tell you this.
According to PlayStation Lifestyle’s interview with Arc Systems, Dragon Ball Fighters Z is about 20% complete with about 22 character slots to fill. With a couple of repeated moves, a limited character set showing mainly Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Fat Boo, Freiza, and Cell, and about 2-3 backdrops, I’d believe them. Sure, the picks will be fan and popularity based (WHERE’S PICCOLO?!), but I have faith in the final product. Honestly, this is what you need to come with at E3. A demo product of something that attributes to the love of both its’ subject and its’ genre, leaving you wishing you had the 7 Dragon Balls to bring you this game now.
Dragon Ball FighterZ will grace PC, PS4, and Xbox One with a demo this summer and a launch date sometime in 2018.